2015 Telfair County double murder: New evidence discovered in pond

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New evidence has surfaced in the case of the tragic deaths of Cobb County residents, 69-year-old Elrey "Bud" and 66-year-old June Runion, back in January 2015 in Telfair County in middle Georgia.

On April 14, a man found a .22 caliber rifle while fishing with a magnet in Horse Creek on Old Prison Camp Road McRae-Helena in Telfair County, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The same individual stumbled upon a bag containing the driver's licenses and credit cards of the Runions, along with a cell phone believed to be theirs, on April 16.

Following this discovery, GBI agents and the Telfair County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search on April 17 at a residence on Webb Cemetery Road. Another search warrant was executed at the same location on April 19, yielding further evidence which will undergo analysis at the crime lab.

In January 2015, Ronnie "Jay" Adrian Towns, then 28, was arrested for the deaths of the Runions and armed robbery. His trial is scheduled to begin in August of this year. Prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty for Towns in connection with the brutal murder of the Runions.

According to police, Towns enticed the Runions from their Marietta home in Cobb County on Jan. 22, 2015, under the guise of selling them a 1966 Ford Mustang, The couple reportedly posted that they were looking for a Mustang on Craigslist and Towns answered the ad, saying he had a car for sale. 

The bodies of the Runions were discovered on Jan. 26, 2015, near a pond where Towns allegedly attempted to conceal their SUV, both having suffered fatal gunshot wounds to the head. They were reported missing after they didn't show up to babysit their grandchildren. 

The trial for this case is tentatively set for August 2024.

Individuals with any information regarding this investigation are urged to reach out to the GBI Regional Investigative Office in Eastman at 478-374-6988. Anonymous tips can also be provided by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), submitting online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by using the See Something, Send Something mobile app.